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I can live without company but not without
talking to myself. Blame it on the cat
who became a person. No one visits.
Procedures must be followed to a t.
Cooking for one equals tears an onion outlasts.
Perhaps these ministrations become habits.
Nothing new under the sun, all is vanity,
Permission to speak? Ecclesiastes.
I could have been more than I am but
things can’t be undone. The accident
happened. One wrong move and still at night
it could happen again. When your back quits
is a matter of time. Be blameless, soft-
toned, don’t froth so at the mouth of it.




Judith Skillman ’s new collection is House of Burnt Offerings from Pleasure Boat Studio. Her work has appeared in Tampa Review, Prairie Schooner, FIELD, The Iowa Review, Poetry, The Southern Review, Midwest Quarterly Review, Seneca Review, New Poets of the American West, and other journals and anthologies. Skillman is the recipient of grants from the Academy of American Poets, Washington State Arts Commission, The Centrum Foundation, and other organizations. She has taught in the field of humanities for twenty-five years, and has collaboratively translated poems from Italian, Portuguese, and French.
















The goop of it throws

       sparks; grey areas multiply.

Wink—a lapse of logic  


leaps: tangled synapses

       of thought will quicken

in turn this thing about’s


about. As if anyone

       could, by sheer force

of reason, reason


one’s way free past doubt…

       Hello. This is you. So find 

another glassy truth. Give


your token face to its

       reflection back. Believe, less

often, that whatever is


is more or less

       unknown. See through

too much in this


life & you’ll risk going

       blind. Wear a mask & it

may grow to fit—if


the world’s a theatre,

       the mind is, too. A word

refers to a seizure


of words & intuition

       feeds on loops to make

you think—think twice


whether, when the circuit’s

       broken, any you remains:

like every trick, thin wisp


of smoke & oops!

       it’s gone. You’ve failed

to know anything


other than illusion. It’s time

       which places its demands

of us & yet what is it but a


spell, created by the mind?

       Make time: you’ll drift

through dark & swift. Go


tell the maze you’re trapped

        in that it’s all a lark: back-

facing rapture into an abyss.






Will Cordeiro ’s work appears in Cortland Review, Crab Orchard Review, Drunken Boat, Fourteen Hills, Harpur Palate, Hawai’i Review, New Walk, Phoebe, and elsewhere. He is grateful for residencies from ART 342, Blue Mountain Center, Ora Lerman Trust, Risley AIR at Cornell University, and Petrified Forest National Park. He lives in Flagstaff, Arizona, where he is a faculty member in the Honors Program at Northern Arizona University.



















In a cave in the Indonesian island of Sulawesi 14 prehistoric paintings

including 12 human hand stencils, two naturalistic animal depictions –

one showing an animal called a babirusa or "pig-deer", and the other

showing a pig – date back to at least 40,000 years ago could be the oldest

known figurative work of art in the world.

                               the study published in Nature, 2014



pig and pig-deer

these are the images we found

in the Indonesian cave


not the wild, wild horses

and not the saber-toothed cave lions


and not Sasquatch

or bubble-headed astronauts


it’s the pig that accompanies

the prehistoric stains

of human hands


and what if we could crawl deeper

into the image?

perhaps we’d find

what the pig digested

or what is behind it

hidden from view


perhaps we’d discover

the I am nature source

that lit up the walls

inside Jackson Pollack’s head –


a drooling landscape –

an explosion –

the dribble and splatter

of a cosmic nature  





Michael Spring is the author of three books and six chapbooks. His most recent chapbook won the 2013 Turtle Island Poetry Award. New work appears in Absinthe Poetry Review, Allegro, Blue Lyra Review, Chiron Review, Gargoyle, and Turtle Island Quarterly. He lives in Oregon, USA.









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